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APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY An Alchemy of Spirit. Ap-pre’ci-ate, v., 1. valuing; the act of recognizing the best in people or the world around us; affirming.

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Presentation on theme: "APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY An Alchemy of Spirit. Ap-pre’ci-ate, v., 1. valuing; the act of recognizing the best in people or the world around us; affirming."— Presentation transcript:

1 APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY An Alchemy of Spirit

2 Ap-pre’ci-ate, v., 1. valuing; the act of recognizing the best in people or the world around us; affirming past and present strengths, successes, and potentials; to perceive those things that give life (health, vitality, excellence) to living systems 2. to increase in value, e.g. the economy has appreciated in value. Synonyms: VALUING, PRIZING, ESTEEMING, and HONORING. In-quire’, v., 1. the act of exploration and discovery. 2. to ask questions; to be open to seeing new potentials and possibilities. Synonyms: DISCOVERY, SEARCH, and SYSTEMATIC EXPLORATION, STUDY.

3 SESSION OBJECTIVES Introduce an approach to development within any human system -families, groups, organizations, communities –Philosophy and principles –Common Stages/steps –Core Experience

4 TRADITIONAL APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT Articulate the problem situation Identify the obstacles, problems, or malfunctions that have contributed to the current situation. Explore why these problems exist - root cause analysis Propose actions to be taken to address these problems Create an action plan

5 TRADITIONAL APPROACH Examples What are our customers dissatisfied with? What is contributing to customer dissatisfaction? What do we need to do to decrease customer dissatisfaction? ______________________________________ Why aren’t our stakeholders more involved in what we do? What do we need to do to address these issues?

6 DRAWBACKS TO THE TRADITIONAL APPROACH Looks to identify/assign blame Focuses attention on what to avoid (fears) Focuses attention on what is missing (deficits) Can deplete energy and motivation

7 AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH ‘Appreciative Inquiry’ Focuses and builds on existing strengths and capacities (assets) Identifies what is desired (positive image) Taps into what energizes and motivates stakeholders

8 APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY ‘5-D Cycle’

9 THE D EFINITION PHASE “As thou hast sown, so shall thou reap.” Pinarius Decide what to learn about –Choose the positive as the focus of Inquiry Determine the Inquiry ‘architecture’ –What are the essential elements that need to be present?

10 THE DISCOVERY PHASE “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions." Naguib Mahfouz (Nobel Prize Winner) Conduct an inquiry into the desired topic –Interviews Recognize and appreciate times of excellence Draw out wishes and desires for an ideal future Collate the data that is generated –Pull out themes and patterns

11 THE DISCOVERY PHASE “Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.” Hannah Arendt Conduct an inquiry into the desired topic –Interviews to solicit stories Recognize and appreciate times of excellence Draw out wishes and desires for an ideal future

12 THE DISCOVERY PHASE “Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before.” Joseph Campbell Conduct an inquiry into the desired topic –Interviews Recognize and appreciate times of excellence Draw out wishes and desires for an ideal future Collate the data that is generated –Pull out themes and patterns

13 ACTIVITY Find a partner Area of Inquiry: - to learn more about what excites and engages the community’s interest and involvement in our work Each person will interview their partner for five minutes > watch your time :-) Interview questions to be reviewed soon

14 INTERVIEW TIPS Use the following questions as the basis for your five-minute interview. It is a good idea to jot down notes or interesting phrases that capture the spirit and main points shared by your partner. Ask them to tell you a story about what took place. How did it unfold? Why did it stand out? What was it that made it a high point? What was going on that helped this to take place? What key insights did it reveal? As you question your partner, you will probably find that you want to ask other questions. This is fine! Watch for what animates and excites your partner and turn your own curiosity loose in that direction. Probe intently, like an interested friend hanging on to every detail. However, watch your time and make sure you have asked the two questions in the following Interview Guide. Whatever questions you ask, remember to keep the focus on what worked and was ‘life giving’ in the situation. Finally, be yourself and have fun!

15 INTERVIEW GUIDE Question 1 It is always great when our community gets actively involved with us in the work we do. Tell me a story of a time you were really impressed and excited when members of the community got on board and really engaged in something you were doing. Possible exploratory questions: Tell me more about what took place - who was involved?, how did it feel? What do you think contributed to their interest and initiative? How was this interest supported by you or your team? What else helped this to be an extraordinary event?

16 INTERVIEW GUIDE Question 2 If you had three wishes for how your team or organization acts to get your community excited and engaged in your work, what would they be?

17 DEBRIEF Part (a) Take a few minutes to discuss the following with your partner: What was the interview experience like for you? (focus on how it felt rather than what was said)

18 DEBRIEF Part (b) Reflect on/discuss what was shared in the interviews 1. “What stood out from the interviews as the life- giving forces that stimulate and support community participation in our work?” Key words/phrases that capture the spirit and main themes shared 2. Agree on the themes/ideas that capture the most meaningful forces for both you and your partner 3. Print these key ideas large and legibly on a piece of paper - one idea/sheet

19 THE DREAM PHASE "Martin Luther King did not say, "I have a strategic plan." Instead, he shouted, "I have a DREAM!," and, he created a crusade." Unknown source Given: 1) what we know has worked in the past, as well as 2) our wishes for the future What would it look like if we were at our best? - visual images - ‘provocative propositions’

20 THE DREAM PHASE “A vivid imagination compels the whole body to obey it.” Aristotle Visual Images –skits, pictures, collages, poems, songs Provocative Propositions –Bold and compelling statements of ‘what is’ –Elicit a ‘Wow!’ response –Stretch and challenge the status quo

21 THE DESIGN PHASE “Action without vision is a nightmare. Vision without action is a daydream.” Japanese proverb KEY STAKEHOLDERS OUR DREAM OPERATIONAL ELEMENTS ‘What are the actions and commitments we want to implement which will make our dream come alive?’

22 THE DESTINY PHASE ‘After enlightenment- comes the laundry’ Zen saying Building and aligning the implementation strategies Monitoring and valuing Building Ai competencies and attitudes into the system

23 SUMMARY TRADITIONAL APPROACH Problem Identification Analysis of Causes Analysis of Possible Solutions Action Planning Action and Evaluation APPRECIATIVE APPROACH Outcome Identification Appreciate existing strengths and wishes Dialogue on what should be –Envisioning a preferred future Innovating/designing Action and Valuation

24 RESOURCES AI Commons is a worldwide portal devoted to the fullest sharing of academic resources and practical tools on Appreciative Inquiry and the rapidly growing discipline of positive change. This site is a resource for leaders of change, scholars, students, and business managers, and is hosted by Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management. Appreciative Inquiry Discussion List AIList is a forum for individuals interested in learning more about the practice of Appreciative Inquiry. The list has nearly 800 subscribers from all over the world. Questions are welcome, as are case postings, observations, and other experiences that can help all list subscribers improve their organisation change practice. To join the list, please go to: The Taos Institute in New Mexico is one of the centres of Appreciative Inquiry, with both David Cooperrider and Suresh Srivastva on its board. It runs workshops and courses.


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